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Remote Sprint Launch Sites > RSL HAER Info > RLOB Description: Overview

RLOB Description: Overview

Excerpt from Safeguard -- A Step Toward Peace,
Huntsville Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The RLOB (Remote Launch Operations Building) is a hardened, buried, reinforced concrete, single-story structure. The approximate exterior dimensions are 142 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 17 feet 6 inches high with an access tunnel, 11 feet by 11 feet and approximately 90 feet long. Intake and exhaust stacks extend above grade.

The RSL site is remotely monitored and controlled through the RLOB from the MSCB (Missile Site Control Building). The RLOB contains remote control equipment, communication equipment, security operations equipment, onsite control equipment, bunk room and kitchen facilities, and power, mechanical, and electrical systems.

The RLOB is hardened and shielded to withstand effects of nuclear weapons including overpressure, ground shock, thermal radiation, dust, nuclear radiation, and NEMP (Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse). The design problems associated with nuclear weapons effects and the solutions of these problems were similar to those for the MSR and PAR facilities. Exterior walls are 2 feet 6 inches thick and interior walls are 10 and 12 inches thick. The floor slab is 2 feet 7 inches thick and has a 4-inch thick sub-slab. The roof slab is 2 feet thick and is covered with 3 feet of earth fill. Sensitive technical and support equipment is protected from the shock environment by means of shock isolation platforms. About 15 percent of the building floor area is shielded for RFI/NEMP protection of sensitive equipment. The interior walls, floors, and ceilings of the separately isolated shielded areas within the RLOB are lined with an 11-guage steel liner plate continuously-welded at all seams. All conduits and ducts entering the shielded areas are equipped with filters designed to attenuate RFI (Radio Frequency Interference).

During normal operation, electrical power for the RSL site is supplied through the RLOB from a soft commercial substation. During commercial power outages and during alert or attack conditions, power is supplied by gas turbine generators within the RLOB. Combustion air for the gas turbines is provided during the attack mode through an extensive air filtering and scrubbing system similar to that used in the MSR and PAR power plants. No-break power, at both 208 V and 460 V for mission critical loads, is provided by a recitfier/battery/motor-generator scheme. Storage batteries have a capacity for 4 to 6 minutes operation without other sources of power.

The RLOB is interconnected with heat sinks, fuel and water storage tanks, launch stations, and other auxiliary structures with numerous buried pipes and conduits. Many of these utilities serve critical systems and must function following a nuclear attack. The design solution for protecting these critical lines and permitting them to respond to seismic motions with the surrounding soil is unique to the RSL sites. It was not economical to concentrate the lines in one location and use a corrugated arch structure such as was utilized at the PAR and MSR facilities. A low compressive strength (6 psi) foam insulation was placed around individual lines and groups of lines which, in turn, was protected from normal soil pressures with a layer of higher strength foam insulation. Expansion joints were utilized in the lines inside the foam jacket, where required, to withstand longitudinal forces.